The Disaster Artist
This movie has to walk a very fine line. While ostensibly a biopic, it very easily could fall into the categories of farce or parody. The film is based on the book of the same name by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell. Sestero was an actor and line producer for the cult film The Room. At the helm of The Room is Tommy Wiseau, a Polish immigrant who, despite his thick accent, insists he’s from New Orleans and refuses to reveal his age and where his money comes from (including the alleged $6 million it took to independently finance the film). With this source material, The Disaster Artist could have become an overlong SNL skit: big-name stars turning in intentionally bad performances for a few laughs.
Luckily, the film avoids this. Sure, there is a seemingly neverending supply of celebrity cameos, but the film is undeniably funny, from pitch-perfect recreations of scenes from The Room to James Franco’s very committed performance as Wiseau. The film is not content to just laugh at him and his disasterpiece; the central relationship between Wiseau and Sestero (played by Franco’s brother Dave) serves as an emotionally effective anchor. Ultimately, The Disaster Artist presents a portrait of a man refusing to let the world make him a movie monster and, against all odds, casting himself as the hero. Pretty inspiring for the best worst movie ever.
Should you see it? Yes, it’s an entertaining look at a weird piece of film history.
Viewed at AMC Creve Coeur 12